Personal Attention.
Aggressive Defense.

Photo of Thomas C. Mooney

Can the police lie to you to get a confession?

On Behalf of | May 5, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Many people think the police cannot lie to them during an interrogation, but the reality is more complicated. Law enforcement officers can use various interrogation tactics when questioning you under custody, including deception. However, there are limits to this approach.

The police may falsely claim they have evidence against you, minimize the seriousness of your offense or even suggest that confessing will lead to a better outcome. They could also fabricate witnesses and forensic results. These tactics are designed to persuade or pressure you to admit to the crime or give more information. Deception is not illegal during interrogations as long as it does not violate your legal rights. As such, your confession could be used in court even if it was obtained through deceptive tactics.

Understand your legal rights

Knowing your legal rights during a custodial interrogation is crucial to avoid making costly mistakes or implicating yourself in a crime. Remember, anything you say can be used against you to prove your guilt.

First, you have the right to remain silent and the right to legal counsel during questioning by law enforcement. Invoking these rights before giving statements or talking to the police can help protect your interests. In addition, the police cannot use physical force, torture, coercion or threats to get a confession. Otherwise, it may be inadmissible in court and excluded from your case during trial.

If you are facing a police interrogation or have already been questioned under custody, it’s best to seek legal guidance. Doing so can help you safeguard your rights, navigate the legal process and better ensure that any statements you make are not used against you unfairly. You will also be well-guided in responding to any other police interrogation tactics.